Another twist in the development project at Parma Crescent

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is parmalavender-4.jpg

Over the last year we’ve been following the twists and turns of a proposed development on Parma Crescent (on the opposite side of Lavender Hill to Asda). The picture above is the house that is currently on the site: a smaller-than average house with a larger-than average garden. That’s a dangerous thing to be ion inner London – because it of course became a prime development opportunity!

The first proposal to redevelop it suggested demolishing everything, and building a block of five flats, with numerous balconies, and steep mansard roofs on the top level to essentially build a three storey block of flats. This was controversial, attracting 44 objections, and not much in the way of supportive comment.

The developers presumably sensed that this proposal was destined for rejection, because a few months later they changed the plans, chopping back the side of the building closest to Lavender Hill, slightly lowering the roof, and making it have the same angle as neighbouring houses (the blue dotted line in the picture below was the shape of the first proposal). However there must have been some steers from the planning department that this was likely to hit trouble as well, as the plan shown below was also withdrawn by the developers.

A third set of proposals introduced that made the building smaller again, and made the roof line look a lot more like what was already present on the rest of the houses on the street (i.e. without roof level balconies facing the street itself). These plans were then changed yet again (but only slightly) to remove a sort of roof balcony and lower the height of the top floor.

This proposal saw 44 objections (plus a handful of support comments), but got through the planning process and is now fully consented. When we last wrote about this in November last year we noted that this had been quite a long process, but on the fact of it the building below could have been the end of the story.

What was approved was still a building with five flats in it (one one-bed, three two-bed, and a three-bed). The generous garden around the current house was doomed (which the Battersea Society noted was incompatible with local planning guidance that prevents major developments in residential gardens) – but we did recognise that what would be built in its place was rather more in keeping with the rest of the street than the initial proposals, removing most of the balconies that would directly face neighbours, and reducing (though not removing) the overshadowing that would have been created to properties to the north.

But all the best planning stories include a twist, and this is no exception. Because having got approval to build the above building, at the end of January this year the developers submitted another proposal. The above-ground part of the build is largely the same as the approved plan, with a few windows moving around. But the new plans add a large basement covering the whole of the site, and increase the number of flats from five to eight! We understand the appeal of this approach to the developer: make the most of the ‘building shape’ already approved, but potentially sell an extra million pounds’ worth of flats for only an extra £75-100k in development cost. The proposed development (seen from the south) is illustrated below.

The developers’ planning advisors suggest in their covering letter that while they originally did not propose to build a basement because the costs were too high, they had now got estimates in that suggested it would be feasible after all. Under the proposals, four of the flats would have their bedrooms & living rooms split between ground floor and a newly excavated basement, with various patios / light wells dug out at basement level to allow the lower level rooms to have windows.

Basements in densely built residential streets are a thorny subject at the best of times, given the disruption they cause to neighbouring residents and the somewhat mixed quality of accommodation they can create – and there have been major disputes across the river where mansion owners in Kensington and Belgravia have been building three and four storey mega basements. Not to mention the mega controversial five storey basement that was proposed for the Clapham South hotel last year (but rejected by planners!).

But planning law means that it’s actually not as easy as one might think for a planning department to say ‘no’ to them out of hand, unless they create massive overdevelopment or particularly poor quality accommodation. And while this is undoubtedly a large and development, the internal layout and general standard of the proposed flats seems to be fairly reasonable in planning terms. A minor tweak has subsequently changed the internal layout to make the flats on the upper floors larger and cut the number from eight to seven (changing three one-bed flats on the first floor to two two-bed flats).

Unsurprisingly the prospect of a major basement excavation has caused local concerns, and at the time of writing the proposals have seen 53 objection comments and one support comment (from a resident of Goulden House). The opportunity to comment has (technically speaking) closed but the detailed plans can be seen at the Wandsworth Planning website (search for application 2021/0408). If you do wish to make a support, objection or general comment our past experience suggests the Council will usually try to consider ‘late’ comments if they can.

Posted in Planning, Street by street, Useful to know | Leave a comment

Megan’s innovative new outdoor restaurant on the Common opens this Friday

We’ve taken a quick look behind the scenes. Small-but-growing local business Megan’s took a new lease on the long-closed and dilapidated Recovery Cafe next to the skate park & basketball courts, and for the last month they have since been hard at work turning it in to a completely new restaurant. It will offer a slight variation on their broadly Mediterranean themed menu, with the unusual (for London) feature that all of the seating is outside.

We previously reported on their plans, and what has been built lives up to expectations – with a completely new look for the premises. The building used to have an indoor seating area and a small Cafe kitchen at one end – whereas it is now only acting as the kitchen, with all the seating outside. This allows for a much larger and better kitchen, and hence a proper range of food – but it has meant a big investment in the external areas to create a decent seating space. A lot of work has gone in to upgrading the whole fabric of the building, which had not really seen any investment for years – there’s new drainage, new extraction, a new terrace, a new kitchen, and of course a major makeover to the general look and feel of the site.

The Terrace by Megan’s will run as a restaurant & takeaway deli, serving all day brunch, lunch, dinner & takeaway picnics. The menu will be slightly different to their other restaurants, and will include sourdough pide pizzas. At the time of our visit the finishing touches were going in right across the site – but the kitchen was clearly getting ready to open. Blinds and awnings mean there should be some shelter in bad weather.

The plan is for Megan’s to open for takeaway only this Friday – with the seating areas opening about a week later (currently advertised as the 12th April). Hours are currently expected to be 8am to 10pm Monday-Thursday, opening a bit later to 11pm on Friday & Saturday, and 9am-9pm on Sundays. Though bear in in mind that as with any new business opening hours tend to get adjusted as they see how demand varies during the week so check their site before heading there especially early or late.

It’s good to see that the capital investment that has gone in to this site. Previous owners struggled to make this site work, because there simply wasn’t enough space in the building for the kitchen and seating needed to make it viable, and the site got gradually more run down as a result – to the point where it really needed a lot of work. Megan’s have certainly turned around the appearance of the site (hats off to the builders who have done a fine job here – and thanks to them also for letting us have a look around). Megan’s are also trying a completely different approach, and we suspect it will be pretty successful.

This is not the only change underway on the Common, as the cafe next to the bandstand is also starting to undergo a big transformation. After many years as popular and notably child-and-dog-friendly cafe La Baita, the lease has been sold on to the operators of the Pear Tree Cafe, and works have recently started on a big renovation of the building.

It will be the Pear Tree Cafe owners’ second venture, building on their current cafe in Battersea Park. At their first site they turned around the fortunes of what had been a distinctly underwhelming Cafe with dubious menu, a tatty and undersized building, and service than really never came with a smile; to a really thriving business that (if anything) has been a bit of a victim of its own success with sometimes substantial queues and difficulty handling the demand. This new site has lots of potential (and was in less trouble to start with) so it will be very interesting to see how they develop it.

And as we reported a month ago – the run-down old toilets building at the edge of the woods is also up for letting, with potential to be developed as another cafe. No news yet on that one, it’s more of a challenge given the dubious current state of the building but it does have enormous potential (we’ll keep you posted if we hear anything – and if you have any news on these sites do let us know).

Posted in Business, Environment, Food & drink, Useful to know | 2 Comments

At last, the lights on Clapham Common are being repaired properly

Good news on Clapham Common: the street lights running from the Bandstand to the abandoned toilets by the South Circular road are finally having a major overhaul. This particular row of a dozen or so lights has been very problematic over the last year or so, with the entire route plunged in to darkness for months at a time (and none of the repairs seeming to last more than a few weeks).

Maybe tragic recent events were the key to these works getting underway, or maybe complaints beforehand finally led to a result. Lambeth (who manage the whole of the Common) have recognised that something is fundamentally wrong with the way these were originally installed, that the underground cable has a problem that cannot be solved, and that they need to start over again – so the supply cable powering the lights is being completely replaced. A new cable supply trench has been dug and these lights are to be connected to a new power supply. Temporary solar lights are in place during the works.

There’s been a wider debate about whether more lights are needed on the Common. And there are valid arguments on both sides: on the one hand, better lighting does improve safety, and in a dense urban area with a lot of people having to cross the Common or take long detours, the case for minimising danger is a strong one. But on the other – the Common (and especially the wooded area) is a wildlife haven and lighting it up is damaging to bats, and it makes sense to focus lighting on the maim commuting routes through the middle of the Common that are already lit at night rather than lighting everything and giving a false sense security on other little-used paths with poor visibility.

But the case for repairing these is clear: it’s the final stretch of an otherwise well-lit and well-used path to cross over the Common, and having this one section not lit is clearly not safe! Hopefully these major repairs will finally put an end to the problems.

Posted in Environment, Useful to know | Leave a comment

Vaacinations at Battersea Arts Centre

A positive sign: The queue at the Battersea Arts centre vaccination site. It’s one of London’s NHS-run vaccination centres, available for those booking vaccinations directly with the NHS (the link to do this, if you’re in the relevant age and / or health categories, is here). If you book via your GP chances are you’ll be sent to the Junction health centre behind the station (where several local practices are managing a shared vaccination site). Good to see BAC’s support in getting out of this! The sooner we can get to grips with the Coronavirus, the sooner Lavender Hill can go back to being a thriving and sociable street again.

Posted in Useful to know | Leave a comment

Feeling brave? The toilets in the woods on Clapham Common are up for rent, to entrepreneurs with ideas.

They’ve been boarded up for as long as most of us can remember. At one stage someone stole part of the roof. The whole building leans just slightly. And they narrowly escaped complete demolition over a decade ago. But somehow, the long-closed public toilets on Clapham Common Westside kept standing.

And flushed with their success at re-letting the Skate Park cafe (which as we reported last week, is set to have a great deal of money spent on upgrading it to become a new outdoor-focussed branch of Megan’s) and the imminent conversion of the central La Baita cafe to a new branch of Pear Tree Cafe (which we’ll write more on in the near future), Lambeth is now attempting perhaps the bravest leasing deal of all: seeing if anyone wants to take on the forest toilets!

Let’s be frank: I don’t think that Sanderson Weatherall, the estate agents who are advertising this property, will exactly be seeing queues round the block. It’s right next to the busy A205, it’s adjacent to a whole load of slightly scruffy and distinctly muddy changing rooms, it comes in at a pretty light 500 square feet, and the building needs a lot of work to get it back in to a usable condition. And as anyone who has been house hunting will know, it’s always a bit of an ominous sign when the estate agents’ listing contains no interior photos; and when you get there and there are ‘Warning: dangerous structure’ signs scattered around the building your fears tend to be confirmed somewhat.

But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a great deal of potential, and the listing notes that “creative ideas are welcomed to make best use of this space”. The number of people walking past here on a typical weekend is vast, and it’s right next to one of the wealthiest and densest residential catchment areas in London. The unit will definitely be cheaper to let than the central cafe or the Basketball courts cafe (which both go for about £25,000 a year) – though the potential here is so uncertain that no rent is even listed, its a case of getting in touch to discuss. There’s a surprisingly large amount of enclosed space around the building, if you prune back the rampant vegetation that has engulfed the building, which could become an enclosed terrace area. It’s actually a pretty elegant building – much more so than the Skate Park cafe; with fine brickwork and it even has a (presumably long-boarded-over) fireplace. And this part of the common doesn’t have any other Cafes in the immediate vicinity. You could go further and go for something like Stein’s outdoor sausage restaurant in Richmond, or even echo what Megan’s are doing on a smaller scale. It could maybe also work as a takeaway, a small gym, or even an artists’ studio. Being right next to the A205, most uses of the building are hardly likely to disturb the neighbours. The one thing it won’t be becoming is new public toilets – as the building doesn’t really meet any modern accessibility or security standards.

Despite being in Wandsworth, the building is being leased by Lambeth, who manage the whole of the Common; They’re offering a ten year lease, with a potentially lengthy rent free period at first in exchange for the new tenant getting the building back in to a usable condition. The lease also includes an unusual condition that “The premises must be accessible to the general public providing services or activities of a recreational, social or educational character benefiting the Park. This is in order to comply with Parks and Open Spaces Act 1967“. Similarly to the plans for the Skate park cafe, the premises can probably be “extended” over the garden area, provided the extensions are ‘temporary which means gazebos, blinds, pergolas, shipping containers – but no permanent extensions. This is all to comply with the very strict rules on what buildings and activities are allowed on Common land. A cafe is, generally speaking, allowable and is likely to be the most plausible use – but Lambeth are happy for potential tenants to think widely and imaginatively about what they may be able to do with the building.

So – are you feeling brave? If you want an unusual commercial project, or know someone who might, get in touch with Sanderson Weatherall (the listing, which went up a couple of weeks ago, is here). We’re glad to see that this building is, after several decades of disuse, finally ‘on the market’ – it has been decaying for years and with a bit of imagination and investment it could be an asset to the Common rather than an eyesore. Bringing it back in to use would tidy up this rather scruffy entrance to the Common, and if the new tenants replace the sadly lost but ever-popular ice cream counter at La Baita, so much the better.

Posted in Environment, Food & drink, Planning, Useful to know | 3 Comments

Megan’s has big plans for the Clapham Common skate park cafe

A few weeks ago we reported that the gradually-deteriorating former Recovery Kitchen next door to the basketball courts had gone under offer for around £25,000 a year. And now we know that it’s being taken over by local restaurateur Megan’s, who already run a loosely Mediterranean themed cafe on the Pavement in Clapham Old Town and another by Battersea Power Station – and who have some frankly pretty ambitious plans for the site.

Previous tenant at the site Recovery Kitchen struggled, as have many of its predecessors – because this is fundamentally a tough spot to trade. Running a park cafe at those rent levels really isn’t a walk in the park, with limited evening trade, rather basic kitchen facilities, and a trade that’s rather sensitive to the weather. But above all it’s a question of space: by the time you try to fit a kitchen and toilets in the rather small building, there’s no room left for seating.

Which is why Megan’s are proposing to use the building itself only as a kitchen – with all of the seating, as well as the bathroom facilities, outside. Here’s the floorplan – the grey is the existing building, the orange is a ‘temporary’ 25-foot shipping container structure that will house toilets, and everything else is lots and lots of seating – with standard seating more or less covering the current boarded area, a more informal gazebo area where the current gravel car park is, what may be an especially popular area of seating up on the roof of the shipping container overlooking the skate park and the Common, and even a narrow strip of seating behind the current building.

It’ll be called The Terrace by Megan’s, and architect’s drawings suggest it’ll be advertising Coffee, Brunch, Prosecco and Pide Pizza. As you’d expect from Megan’s (whose other venues are always well presented), the whole building will have a major makeover, becoming their signature blue (albeit retaining some of the current wood boarding installed when it became Recovery Kitchen) and having a very substantial decorational upgrade across the board.

Obviously a major challenge of an entirely-outdoor restaurant is the weather, which is why Megan’s propose to build a retractable roof structure over the whole area, similar to the one pictured right. Both this and the toilets are ‘temporary’ structures, because the rules around building new permanent buildings on common land are extremely complex (it’s not impossible, but it’s very hard). In many ways this is a restaurant for modern times – open air in the summer, and well-aired in the winter – and in line with the pavement seating extensions we’ve been seeing of many of the pavement restaurants along Lavender Hill.

This is a bold plan and if it goes ahead, will be the biggest investment this building has seen for several decades. It may also be a controversial one: any commercial development on the Common attracts opposition, and this is probably pushing the bounds of what can reasonably be fitted on to this relatively small site. But it does appear to have the general scale and ‘critical mass’ to actually be viable – and experience at Megan’s other restaurants suggests it will be popular, and finally stop the series of business failures at this location. The overall setup is vaguely reminiscent of Stein’s riverside sausage restaurant in Richmond. At the moment the site is a messy eyesore between a road junction, a skate park and a basketball court, so there aren’t many neighbours to disrupt, and the plans will certainly see the general public making more and better use of this particular bit of the Common than they do currently – our instinct is that this is a positive development for the site. The planning application is still open – if you want to comment in support or against these plans, or just make a general observation., search for application 21/00024/FUL at the Lambeth planning site.

We’ll also be reporting in the near future on rival cafe La Baita – which has recently closed following the retirement of the owner. We have heard it is set to reopen as a second branch of the pear Tree Cafe in Battersea Park.

Posted in Environment, Food & drink, Planning | 4 Comments

The Milkman still delivers to Lavender Hill

It’s a long-lost sound many of us remember from our childhood – but it’s not gone away. If you’re awake in the early hours in Lavender Hill, you may hear the familiar sound of an electric milk float, and the clink of bottles.

Because milk deliveries are still running – even in inner London! Milk & More employ 1,100 milkmen and women who deliver more than a hundred million pints of milk each year, and still in the familiar returnable glass bottles. For many years they were run as Dairy Crest, but are part of dairy firm Müller (who are maybe more famous for making dairy yoghurts such as Fruit Corners & MüllerRice), though three quarters of the actual deliveries are by smaller franchisee businesses working under the Milk & More national brand. Deliveries to Lavender Hill are on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and come from Gap Road, between Earlsfield and Wimbledon.

We’re not usually too keen on delivery services – as a website that makes a point of talking about local shops! But we’re happy to make an exception for milk deliveries, give they’ve been around for decades, that they barely compete with local shops, and that with electric deliveries & minimal packaging waste are an environmentally friendly option. The service has evolved a bit over the years, branching out to a much wider range of milks and juices now, including oat, goat, soya, almond and the like, as well as a complete set of organic options, and a small range of bread products.

And most of the milk is still delivered with fully electric milk floats. This approach goes right back to the 1940s, which – as new cars increasingly move to being electrically powered – means milk delivery was way ahead of its time… No-one is quite sure why milk floats were electric – possible reasons include their being able to run very quietly (an advantage for a service that was delivering to quiet residential streets in the early hours, when most windows were single glazed), and that electric vehicles were much cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vans given they were stopping and starting hundreds of times on each round. There has lately been a slight move towards diesel vehicles, especially on long rural milk rounds – but we suspect it won’t last.

Lockdowns and a move towards more occasional shopping trips to allow for social distancing has been good for milk delivery services – and apparently led to a surge in online customers, with Milk & More gaining twelve thousand new customers in the last year. The core range of milk costs about 80p a pint delivered, with organic milks more like 95p and the more exotic options such as Kefir and creams costing more. Bottled fresh juices are about £1.35 a pint. So if you happen to be up in the middle of the night, and hear what sounds like a milk float, it probably is one! And to find out more about the service (which includes details of our local milkman, Dave Cousins) see Milk&More’s website.

Posted in Business, Transport, Useful to know | Leave a comment

Lavender Hill retail roundup – February 2021

It’s been a tough few months for our traders, with the always-difficult start of the year combining with yet another lockdown – but Lavender Hill has held up better than most. One of the emerging themes of lockdowns is that while national chains just close, smaller & independent businesses get imaginative and find ways to carry on. And Lavender Hill’s residents – many stuck at home all day – have rallied to support local traders.

We’ve also seen a good few new businesses starting – which is encouraging and reflects strong entrepreneurialism even in the most tricky circumstances. More than ever, this is the time more than ever to be trying out our newest arrivals, so here’s the rundown of the new and imminent changes on and near Lavender Hill. If this is the first time you’ve read one of these, do also have a look at our previous article, and the one before it, which picked out many more new arrivals. It’s also worth a look at the Clapham Junction BID who are now tracking opening hours and takeaway/delivery options for businesses towards the western end of Lavender Hill in a more comprehensive manner than we ever could!

At the eastern end, Sugarcane London – who opened a Caribbean restaurant next to Wandsworth Road railway station a few months ago – is opening up their second branch, in what used to be Signtair signmakers at 50 Lavender Hill. The existing restaurant is a proper independent business and very clearly a passionate project, with strong reviews – they’re not quite there yet on the fitout but this will certainly be worth a try when it opens.

Signtair haven’t gone far – moving across the road to larger premises at the long-empty former butchers’ next to the Coop (which we’ve often reported on!). At the time of our photo they were still working on the premises, which has been empty for longer than any other unit on the street – it’s really good to finally see it back in use, and also to see that the classic shop front and green tiles are being kept in place –

The former Dukes dry cleaners at 34 Lavender Hill is being refitted as Lash and brow lab, adding to quite a cluster of nail bars and hairdressers in this part of the street.

The former Amazing Thai next door has had a more problematic conversion, with the rear sliced off to become a flat, leaving the front maybe rather too small to accommodate a viable shop. We were really quite surprised to then see the front being further subdivided to create two absolutely tiny shops (whose precise purpose remains something of a mystery) – at a push these could be sole trader nail bars, but we do have concerns about the squeezing of retail units to the stage where they’re barely viable as standalone businesses.

One unit that’s looking for someone to make it theirs is 71 Lavender Hill (pictured right), a very-long-closed pharmacy which was tied to Signtair’s new home as the longest-running empty unit. It’s had a good quality renovation by the landlord to create a bright two storey corner property over 70 square feet, with a large usable basement with natural light, going for around £2000 a month. If it’s the unit for you, call WeCan properties on 020 3890 6474.

Maker of smart Shaker kitchens Olive & Barr have taken over the former William Hill in the middle of Lavender Hill, to open their first London showroom, which is being equipped at the time of writing. Special respect goes to the landlord of this unit, who wasted no time at all after William Hill closed their store in getting the builders in, fitting it out to a high standard with a completely new shopfront, and letting it to new tenants. No-one starting a new business wants to take on the risk of having to completely renovate the building before they can get going, which is why keeping the buildings in a decent state leads to much faster lettings, while premises that haven’t had a penny spent on them for years shift much more slowly. If every landlord was as proactive as this, we’d not have any empty shops at all.

The old Royal British Legion at 173 Lavender Hill has the builders in. The building was in a very dilapidated condition, and as we’ve previously reported it is being converted to flats, with a new shop unit on the ground floor, and an added roof storey.

Ryness’ former shop opposite Battersea Arts Centre has reopened as TaxAssist accountants – a well established nationwide chain. Let’s be honest – accountancy services is never going to set the world on fire – but this is a useful service to have here given the number of small businesses in the area.

In maybe one of the most interesting developments, Clapham Cycle – a local cycle club who run rides, socials and even cycle holidays – is taking over the former Haart estate agents at 255 Lavender Hill. This could be a real change to the cluster of estate agents currently along the western end of Lavender Hill, and we’ll be sure to report further when this opens.

Ginger Kiss at 196 Lavender Hill has reopened as the fourth branch of Yori, a Korean barbecue restaurant with branches in Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus and Wimbledon. Takeaway only for the time being – but a welcome addition to this part fo the street.

The Royal Trinity Hospice shop is up for lease, and next door the former Lock Centre has opened as VapeMobile (with a slightly unfortunate bright green security shutter that doesn’t do a lot for the look of the generally smart stone frontage of the building).

The new London and South Western pub has (as we reports a few months back) opened, but has spent most of its time closed!

Finally… no retail roundup would be complete without a mention of Debenhams! Back when our branch was closed, with the landlord deciding that there were better options for the building, we wondered if the chain as a whole would survive, and sadly it didn’t. But there’s probably more to say than we can fit here – so we’ll hold that update for a full article in the near future.

Posted in Business, Food & drink, Retail | Leave a comment

A surprising planning decision on Taybridge Road

Wandsworth have just made an interesting planning decision – which is maybe the sign of a new approach to urban trees and greenery in Wandsworth. It’s on a site that a couple of years ago was very controversially converted from a small park, that had been laid out on a 1940s bombsite in memory of those who died – and there was a great deal of controversy about the project. It didn’t help that the developers were a firm had previously found local fame when they demolished The Castle pub, on Battersea High Street, and replaced it with a block of flats. The Street View image below shows the site as it was. This article from the Evening Standard gives a feel for the arguments at the time.

The large sycamore tree, three cotoneaster trees, and all the shrubs – which were on the corner of Taybridge Road and Gowrie Road, just off Lavender Hill – were destroyed to make way for the new flats. Fortunately not everything was lost, because the developer was required to offset some of the environmental and visual damage, by ensuring the new development included replacement trees and vegetation. The developer’s early attempts to get planning permission were rejected (as rather out of scale, with balconies overlooking neighbours) – but the first version that got approved (planning application number 2017/0631) included three replacement cherry trees and a somewhat optimistic ‘green wall’ facing Gowrie Road, shown below.

Continue reading
Posted in Environment, Planning, Street by street | 3 Comments

Work starting to improve the Lavender Hill / Queenstown Road junction

Back in January we reported that following 17 accidents at the junction in three years (cars crashing into nine cycles, five pedestrians and two motorbikes), Lambeth are planning to make some design changes to make it safer. Work is now due to start next week on the Queenstown Road junction, and a few weeks later at the Silverthorne Road junction.

For pedestrians, the pedestrian crossings (with their notoriously unreliable push buttons) will see an upgrade to have a countdown timer.  The small traffic island on the Queenstown Road side will be removed, to make more space for cycles and cars queuing at the traffic lights (and reduce the tendency for it to be hit by turning vehicles). The pavement outside Sainsbury’s will also be widened.

For cycles, this will include realigning the vehicle lanes to make them have a consistent width (to avoid pinch points), creating cycle lanes leading out of the junction as well as in to it, and adding small traffic lights specifically for cyclists along the Cedars Road and Queenstown Road (as surveys have shown this is becoming a busy cycle route, used by over 100 cycles a day during the morning peak). 

And for drivers, the Queenstown Road approach will be reorganised to have two clear traffic lanes (one just for turning right) as well as a separate cycle lane – rather than the current rather awkward one-and-three-quarters-lanes arrangement.  The whole junction will also be resurfaced. 

The cycle stop areas will also be reorganised further along Wandsworth Road (where it meets Silverthorne Road) and in slightly slower time at the junction with Union Road (where works are delayed until other work that’d set to dig up that junction is complete). 

It would have been good to see something more ambitious (including ‘X’ diagonal pedestrian crossings, and longer cycle lanes between the junctions) – but this is still a step in the right direction.

Posted in Transport, Useful to know | Leave a comment